Shop granted licence to sell alcohol despite objections from Sheffield heritage group

Waingate Express, with the Old Town Hall in the background.
Waingate Express, with the Old Town Hall in the background.
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Councillors have granted permission for a new off-licence to open in the shadow of Sheffield's Old Town Hall.

Aron Nefetalum will be able to sell alcohol from Waingate Express, in Waingate, between 7am and 11.45pm Monday to Saturday and from 9am to 11.45pm on Sunday.

The shop will be allowed to sell alcohol 7am to 11.45pm Monday to Saturday and 9am to 11.45pm on Sunday.

The shop will be allowed to sell alcohol 7am to 11.45pm Monday to Saturday and 9am to 11.45pm on Sunday.

The premises licence was granted this morning despite an objection from Valerie Bayliss, the chairman of the Friends of Sheffield Old Town Hall.

The group is trying to bring the empty building back into public use, and has formed a trust to try to buy it.

Mrs Bayliss said a shop selling alcohol in the Waingate area would add to the existing problems of antisocial behaviour, crime and street drinking.

She urged councillors not to grant the licence.

"We have observed continual low level antisocial behaviour on a regular basis in the two years we have been monitoring the condition of the Old Town Hall," she said.

"It is clear that there is a problem of street drinkers both day and night, to the extent that people are continually harassed."

Mrs Bayliss said the Friends group had no objection to the applicant, was not 'anti-alcohol' and would support new business in the Waingate area.

But she added: "We strongly believe that increasing the ready availability of alcohol, especially over the very long hours proposed, will make it harder for the authorities to promote the licensing objectives."

Representing the applicant, solicitor Patrick Robson of John Gaunt and Partners said Mr Nefetalum had proposed a number of steps to prevent problems in his shop.

These include CCTV, readily accessible to police; full staff training for the sale of alcohol; a detailed refusal book, available to the authorities if required; and a 'challenge 25' identification scheme.

Mr Robson pointed out that other shops nearby already had premises licenses, such as the Co-operative in Castle Street, and operated without any problems.

And he said none of the 'responsible authorities', including the police and environmental health, had objected.

Mr Nefetalum said his shop would sell a range of products including alcohol but also food, newspapers and fresh coffee. He said he hoped to target in particular people waiting for buses in Waingate.

Councillors granted the licence and added a condition that a bin should be placed inside the shop.